Oklahoma City Celebrates U.N. International Peace Day at the Capitol

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Candace Liger of ACLU Oklahoma speaks at the International Peace Day rally hosted by UNA-USA Oklahoma City (Richard White photo)

The United Nations Association of Oklahoma City (UNAOKC) hosted a rally at the Oklahoma State Capitol building on Thursday in honor of U.N. International Peace Day.

An estimated crowd of 40 gathered at the at the steps of the Capitol at 6 pm for a casual rally before the special session began Monday.

Dr. Nyla Khan speaking at the Capitol (Alejandra Salinas photo)

Richard White, Director of Communications for UNAOKC, began the laid back affair without podium or microphone and introduced the guest speakers: Dr. Nyla Khan of the University of Oklahoma and Rose State College, Maurianna Adams of Community Alliance of Oklahoma, Camille Landry of Black Lives Matter Oklahoma, and Candace Liger of ACLU Oklahoma.

Khan spoke about the effect of U.S. foreign policy as it relates to international peace. “The perpetuation of a politics that emphasizes, reinforces, or creates cultural myopia and monocultural identities in societies as diverse as those of the US and South Asia would be the bane of our existence,” she declared.

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Maurianna Adams speaking at the Capitol (Kuaybe Basturk photo)

The next speaker, Adams, discussed peace as it relates to our local community. Landry touched on a wide variety of topics from environmental justice to racial justice and closed her speech with a poem.

Liger spoke about peace as self-care and asked the small gathering what personally brought them peace and related it to what brought her and her family peace. She emphasized self care in a world where peace is disrupted by systemic racism in local bureaucracies.

Camille Landry speaking at the Capitol (Alejandra Salinas photo)

After the short speeches, the crowd moved to the south lawn to plant “pinwheels for peace,” a program that local schools and Girl Scout troops contributed to by decorating pinwheels. After the picturesque presentation was planted in the park, the group made plans to meet afterward at local patio lounge The Pump on NW 24th St.

UNAOKC will be having its next public event on October 26th at 6:30 pm at Jones Assembly. Their monthly Young Professionals Happy Hour will be hosting Jamie Caves of Sisu Youth Services, a shelter for at-risk teenagers.

More photos from the event can be found below:

Our fundraiser and Young Professional Happy Hour last night were incredible!

A quick group photo to wrap up the night

We were so happy to see new and friendly faces last night at Guyutes on NW 23rd and Shartel! Wayne, co-owner and great guy, graciously partnered with us for Giving Tuesday, where Guyutes donates a portion of their sales to local non-profits. So all day people who had a drink and a bite were fundraising for UNA-OKC!

To take advantage of this, we invited everyone we knew to come out and eat and  the turnout was great. We saw another great local organization, Community Alliance of Oklahoma, holding their monthly meeting there to benefit us. Thanks!

Community Alliance of Oklahoma

We also held our monthly Young Professionals Happy Hour and our topic was the refugee crisis. We invited local American Red Cross employee, police translator, and former interpreter for U.S. forces in Iraq, Hiba Jameel, to talk about her experience coming to the United States as a refugee. Her story was incredibly powerful and we are so glad to have her in Oklahoma City. She is living testament that you don’t have to be born in America to be a patriot.

Our next Young Professionals Happy Hour will be on July 20th at Fassler Hall on NW 10th and Hudson at 6 pm. The topic will be about part of the number one United Nations Millennium Development Goal: End Hunger. Our guest speaker will talk about food scarcity in Oklahoma and we will be providing everyone with seeds to plan in their own home or community gardens. We can’t wait to see you there!

Our First Young Professional Happy Hour was a Success!

UNAOKC Board Members Sinead, Michelle, Kellen, and Priya welcoming new and old friends

Thanks to all who came out to meet other people in the Oklahoma City metro who are interested in a global community—even in a landlocked state in the middle of the country.

It was great meeting people from a variety of backgrounds and professions who all had a passion for international issues. We chose to highlight the U.N.’s Shot at Life campaign but were very interested to hear what you were most concerned with, like indigenous peoples’ rights and the protection of religious minorities.

If you haven’t yet, make sure you are following us on Twitter and Facebook to hear about more young professional happy hours and other advocacy projects.

Let Oklahoma City know that we need the U.N.!

We were also proud to debut our new t-shirts! You can buy yours for only $25. They come in crew neck and vee neck, depending on your personal style (we recommend buying both in bulk). We’ll have them available at our next UNAOKC happy hour in May!

Check out some of the pictures from yesterday’s event. We hope to see you again at the next one!

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